Use of optical storage devices as shared resources in Local Area Networks
Hoge, James Claude
Frew, Barry A.
Schneidewind, Norman F.
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Since the start of the computer era, information users have been restricted by inadequate and expensive data storage. The development of solid state memory, soft storage media (floppy disk drives), drum memory drives and fixed disk drive mechanisms have improved data storage and retrieval, reducing the cost of information to under $10 per megabyte for large storage devices. The introduction of laser technology and the development of optical data storage now makes tremendous amounts of data available to users. Optical disc drives can be accessed as peripheral devices by most stand alone micro-computers at a cost of less than $.30 per megabyte of information. Although the cost per megabyte is low, the cost per work station can run $1 ,500 to $2,500 (or more) per year. Optical storage devices and the data bases released in optical format can be: (1) too expensive for addition to individual work stations or (2) under utilized in a single user environment or (3) difficult to manage when two or more users share a single work station. Current networking strategies have the potential to reduce data costs even more by allowing data storage devices to be shared by multiple users. This study evaluates the possibility of combining Optical Storage Technology with the data sharing properties of a Local Area Network (LAN) to solve these three problems.
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